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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Saibai Island kids screened for skin disease that can lead to kidney failure

Date posted: 19 June 2013

Children on Saibai Island in the Torres Strait, off far north Queensland, are being screened to try and contain a highly infectious skin disease outbreak. Four residents have been treated for acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which can affect the kidneys. Symptoms include a puffy face and skin sores, high blood pressure, fever, and vomiting.

Dr Gair, Director of Tropical Public Health Services in Cairns, says the disease can lead to kidney failure if left untreated. 'Generally what happens is you'll get a particular strain of streptococcus that can cause this,' he said. 'Once that gets introduced into the community, if it manages to spread around, then some of the people who get the infection - not all of them but some of them - develop this kidney disease.'

To stop the spread of the infection it is important that people look out for any skin sores, get them treated, and use hand-use soap and water to stop the organisms that cause skin sores from passing from person to person.

Source:  ABC News


Last updated: 19 June 2013
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